1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Ken Parks, a Soldier with the 414th Civil Affairs Battalion listens to the range safety officer issue commands targets during a qualification table at his unit’s November drill weekend at Fort Custer, Mich.
on Nov. 16th, 2019.
(Photo Credit: Sgt. Bob Yarbrough) VIEW ORIGINAL <img src="http://www.
jpg” /> 2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Ken Park, A Soldier with the 414th Civil Affairs Battalion engages targets during a qualification table at his unit’s November drill weekend at Fort Custer, Mich.
on Nov. 16th, 2019.
(Photo Credit: Sgt. Bob Yarbrough) VIEW ORIGINAL
I was fat.”
Park came from what he considered to be a priveleged life.
He was constantly told that he was special by his parents and his teachers. But Spc Park never really felt like that was a life for him.
“Coming from that sort of priveleged background, joining the Army, being told that I was the same as everyone else sort of put me in my place.”
He said I should go to school instead, and I could join later” said Park. He was about 60 pounds overweight at the time, so he joined a gym and, through hard work and discipline, ended up losing 70 pounds.
By being in the Army, Park said, he has learned life skills that he may not have learned otherwise.
Park went on to say that his Army experience has only gotten better. “In AIT (Advanced Individual Training) I had a case of bronchitis, but I kept going.
We had a PT test and I had to pass. “There was [harsh winter] weather like this.
And I had to go on. The fast guys came back, because they knew I had bronchitis, but I had to pass.
I made it and it was hard, but I don’t know that I would have made it without them.”
“There aren’t many places you can go, in the Army or in normal life, where someone will see you struggling, and say ‘Hey, I know you’re tired, I got you’ and they take care of you so the mission still gets done.”
Park came to the 414th after being contacted by an Officer in the unit.
“Cpt. Babcock actually reached out to me on LinkedIn,” said Park, “because I’m fluent in Korean and Japanese.
“Despite being told that I shouldn’t, and couldn’t, join the Army, I’m glad I did,” said Park.
“It gave me a higher value, a better reason for doing what I do.”